Cross country: No shortage of Fox area standouts at state meet
PEORIA -- Anthony Farmer was the epitome of a competitor at Detweiller Park on Saturday afternoon in Peoria.
"Everybody's fastest time is going to be at Detweiller," Farmer said. "All the fastest times are going to be at Detweiller."
The Burlington Central junior accorded some personal bests at the Class 2A boys cross country state meet in finishing third in 14 minutes, 35.35 seconds.
"I wanted to kick in the last 400 meters and see if I could pick off some guys," Farmer said. "I picked off a lot of guys."
Framer was a returning all-stater.
"I knew I was going to be one of the best state returnees," Framer said.
Kredell honors his former teammate: Two of the biggest stories in Class 3A boys cross country entering the season was Zach Kinne, the Neuqua Valley star, and Josh Rodgers, who held a similar position for Geneva, moving.
But Ryan Kredell more than made up for Rodgers' absence for the Vikings in Peoria.
The Vikings' senior earned all-state honors by finishing 22nd in 14:48.33.
"I was going to go slow in the first mile," Kredell said. "It's been a goal of mine (to be all-state) for a while. (Rodgers) is still supporting us out in Colorado."
Freshmen shine: Freshmen girls were at the center of the state cross country meet last weekend among area athletes.
Batavia ninth-grader Katrina Schlenker and Rosary first-year runner Lianna Surtz finished runners-up in Class 3A and Class 2A, respectively.
"Freshmen are more seasoned than they used to be," Rosary coach Vic Meade said. "They come into high school, and they are more wiry. They bring a lot of energy."
St. Charles North freshman Rachel Price made the most of her first state meet by finishing in all-state in 18th place with a time of 17:01.07.
"I felt like I could make it in Class 3A," Price said. "My strategy was I wasn't trying to stress myself. I was just trying to tell myself that you could do great. Illinois is one of the hardest states to compete in."
Price was not surprised by the accomplishment of DuKane Conference rival Schlenker over the weekend.
"(Schlenker) has improved tenfold since I ran against her last year," Price said. "We were in the same (middle school) conference). She is just the sweetest and nicest girl you could ever meet."
But South Elgin freshman Naomi Ruff was even better than Price in Peoria.
"She is the first state qualifier for either boys or girls in our history," South Elgin girls coach Jorie Bartholomew said. "This is a lot of history this girls put in the books."
Ruff was 12th in Class 3A with a time of 16:45.99.
St. Charles East sophomore Allice Abbott also has future designs at the state level after finishing ninth in Class 3A.
"I am so excited," Abbott said. "I'm not done yet."
Kaneland just misses top three: The Kaneland boys missed a state trophy by all of one point in Class 2A.
"You can't play defense in cross country," Kaneland coach Chad Clarey said.
Bloomington denied Kaneland 167-168 for the third state trophy in the middle division.
But Daniel Occhipinti was all-state for Kaneland in ninth place with a time of 15:06.78.
"I wanted to PR," Occhipinti said. "That was my first goal. My second goal was to be all-state. I was able to check the all-state box off."